NFL Week 1 Power Rankings 2023: Bears outside Top 20
Jay Biggerstaff - USA Today Sports

NFL Week 1 Power Rankings 2023: Bears outside Top 20

by - Staff Writer -

The 2023 NFL season is about to begin, and oh boy we are excited. Last season, of course, was one for the record books and was topped off with the Kansas City Chiefs beating the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl. The offseason provided an entertaining draft, some significant contract extensions, trades, signings, coaching hires, and more. While some big contract issues are to be ironed out, and some big names are still on the market, most of the rosters are pretty settled.

So, with that being said, here are our first power rankings of the NFL season ahead of week 1.

*We decided to explain the top 16 and the Bears.*

1. Kansas City Chiefs 14-3 SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS: Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs turned a rocky start into a dominating end of the season. Despite losing Tyreek Hill before last season, the Chiefs still dominated the AFC West and won their second Super Bowl in four seasons. Mahomes led the NFL in passing yards and touchdowns, winning his second MVP. The defense stepped up, Travis Kelce was phenomenal, and the Chiefs have cemented themselves as the NFL’s next dynasty. Chris Jones was a big reason the Chiefs succeeded, and he is currently holding out for a new contract. Without him, the Chiefs' defense has a massive hole — but the reigning champs get our No. 1 spot until proven otherwise.

2. Philadelphia Eagles 14-3 NFC CHAMPIONS: Philadelphia was one of the league’s best teams from start to finish. A dominating pass rush, a veteran offensive line, all pros all over the field, and a newly added AJ Brown gave Jalen Hurts all the tools needed to make the leap from talented to top-5 QB in the league. The Eagles lost the Super Bowl to the Chiefs but are still loaded with talent and should be considered favorites to return to the pinnacle next season. The roster truly does not have many holes. They are NFC East champs as they look to control that division for now. They lost Miles Sanders but added De’Andre Swift to the bunch.

3. Cincinnati Bengals 12-4 The Bengals were the AFC’s representative in the Super Bowl two years ago and made it to the AFC Championship again this year, led by Joe Burrow. It’s not always pretty, but the Bengals win games — and the way their roster is constructed, expect them to continue to do just that. They have won the AFC North two years in a row, and it is Burrow’s division, not Lamar’s. The Bengals added more to the offensive line and proved a threat in the AFC.

4. Buffalo Bills 13-3 The Bills are one of the league’s best teams and had a heartbreaking end to the postseason three years in a row. The defense took a step back in 2022, but Josh Allen is still one of the league’s best QBs and leads one of the league’s best offenses. The Bills made some nice moves to shore up the offensive line and are certainly a top-5 team in the NFL.

5. San Francisco 49ers 13-4: San Francisco has one of the most talented rosters in the sport and rode their best players to another NFC Championship appearance. The 49ers had had a topsy-turvy season, losing newly named starting QB Trey Lance in week 1 — and Jimmy Garropolo later on in the season. But that never stopped the 49ers from winning. Garropolo is now a Raider, Trey Lance is now a Cowboy, and Brock Purdy is the starter on a team with one of the best rosters in the NFL.

6. Dallas Cowboys 12-5: Dallas has one of the best defenses in the league but can not get over the offensive hump. Nonetheless, the team is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. The fact of the matter is that as long as the Eagles look the way they do, Dallas will be playing for the Wild Card for the foreseeable future. Prescott is getting paid QB1 money; it’s time for him to also play like it this season. Ezekiel Elliot is no longer in the picture, so it is Tony Pollard’s backfield, and the Cowboys added Brandin Cooks to a loaded WR room.

7. Jacksonville Jaguars 9-8: Trevor Lawrence is showing everybody in the NFL why he was selected as the number one overall pick in 2021. The talented QB led the Jaguars to a division championship and a playoff win — and look primed to only get better as a team. The defense needs some help to take the next step, but the AFC South is Jacksonville’s division to lose for the first time.

8. Los Angeles Chargers 10-7: The Chargers may have been one of the NFL’s most disappointing teams. They added Khalil Mack and JC Jackson to a defense that got a healthy Derwin James and Joey Bosa in 2022 but struggled. On offense, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams battled injuries, as did Justin Herbert, so the offense became Austin Ekeler-dependent. But as the new season approaches, LA should still be one of the league’s most talented teams shortly. The division they are in still runs through the Chiefs, but the Chargers are contenders for sure.

9. Detroit Lions 9-8: The Lions were one of the best stories in the NFL this season. Despite faltering to 1-6 out of the gate, the Lions finished 9-8. They are loaded with young talent and might need a QB change before they are TRUE contenders, but the Lions should be expected to be a playoff contender shortly. They have a confident coach and young playmakers on both sides of the field. Keep an eye on the Lions moving forward.

10. Baltimore Ravens 10-7: Baltimore has one of the league’s strongest rosters, but they spent most of 2021 and 2022 as the most injured team in the sport. But this team has speed all over the field, on both sides of the ball, and they know their identity. Led by an MVP in Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have the recipe for success — they must stay healthy. The Ravens paid Lamar Jackson, signed OBJ in free agency, and added a WR in the draft in Zay Flowers. This will be the strongest team Lamar Jackson has quarterbacked, so look out for Baltimore.

11. Minnesota Vikings 13-4: With an offensive-minded head coach and the best wide receiver in football, the Minnesota Vikings looked like legit contenders last season. The offense is aging, and Kirk Cousins is capable certainly, but has some limitations that have held the Vikings back — but the major problem is the Vikings' defense couldn’t stop anybody. The Vikings were absurdly lucky in one-score games, a trend that will not stick around in the future. The Vikings had a great season, but they may take a step back in 2023 while the rest of the NFC North is expected to improve. They are the reigning NFC North Champions, though.

12. Miami Dolphins 9-8: The question surrounding the Miami Dolphins is how good Tua can be because the offense that features Tyreek Hill, Jalen Waddle, and Raheem Mostert is loaded with speed. Tua looked great early on, but a few scary head injuries jeopardized his career and the Dolphins' 2022 season. They are one of the most exciting teams in football — and a healthy, capable Tua can certainly make them contenders. The Dolphins also added Jalen Ramsey to the cornerback room, so the defense should be better.

13. New York Jets 7-10: While they did not make the playoffs, the 2022 season was their best in years. It was their best season since 2017, and the defense was the best since 2009. The Jets are loaded with young talent on both sides of the ball, including sweeping Rookie of the Year honors for offense and defense (Garrett Wilson and Sauce Gardner). With Aaron Rodgers now at the helm, they feel like one of the teams to beat in the AFC.

14. New Orleans Saints 7-10: The Saints have the luxury of playing in what looks to be the weakest division in the NFL. But they got a lot better in the offseason. The defense still holds Cameron Jordan and Demario Davis, and the offense added Derek Carr and Jamaal William. It will get a healthy Michael Thomas back to join Chris Olave and Jarvis Landry in the WR room. The Saints also have the easiest schedule in the NFL.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers 9-8: This may come as a surprise, but the Steelers are in our top half of the league. It is no secret they boast one of the league’s best defenses; the offense played much better down the stretch. The Steelers won six of seven games to end the season, and Kenny Pickett began to come into his own. They may need some help on the offensive line and to open up the run game for Najee Harris — but the Steelers should not be teams that are looking forward to playing in 2023.

16. New York Giants 9-7-1: The New York Giants shocked the football world and earned a playoff break. Led by a resurgent Saquan Barkley and stout defense, the Giants beat the Titans, Panthers, Bears, Packers, and Ravens in the early beginning. They have a good coach, and they may need an upgrade at QB — but the Giants are trending in the right direction to become contenders year after year in the NFC. The Giants retained Barkley and Daniel Jones in year 2 of Brian Daboll’s system, which could be dangerous.

17. Seattle Seahawks 9-

18. Cleveland Browns 7-1

19. Denver Broncos 5-12

20. New England Patriots 8-9

21. Washington Commanders 8-8-1

22. Carolina Panthers 7-1

23. Tennessee Titans 7-10

24. Chicago Bears 3-14: The Bears went into the season with a new coach, a new general manager, a new staff, and a quarterback who many expected to take the next step. Justin Fields did that in many people’s eyes, and the Bears spent the offense improving the defense, adding to the offensive line, and acquiring a WR1 for Justin Fields in DJ Moore. The Bears have battled some injuries in the preseason but have improved enough to start showing it in the win/loss column.

25. Atlanta Falcons 7-10

26. Green Bay Packers 8-

27. Las Vegas Raiders 6-11

28. Los Angeles Rams 5-1

29. Indianapolis Colts 4–12-

30. Houston Texans 3–13-1

31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 8-9

32. Arizona Cardinals 4-13

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